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Best of Wyoming
Thu December 20, 2012
Historic Governors’ Mansion - Cheyenne
The People’s House
In 1904, 14 years after achieving statehood, Wyoming built its first governor’s mansion, a modest house compared to the large dwellings built in other parts of downtown Cheyenne. The Historic Governors’ Mansion is located at 300 E. 21st Street, just five blocks from the State Capitol in what was, at the time, a middle class neighborhood.
The Colonial Revival governor’s “mansion,” designed by architect Charles Murdock of Omaha, was never intended to be a show place. Although stately, it was intended to be a comfortable, gracious residence that the people of Wyoming provided their governors and first families.
The two-and-a-half story house with full basement and separate carriage house was completed at a cost of $33,253.29; including the cost of the lot ($3,000), landscaping ($2,036) and all the original furnishings. Modern in most respects, the house was equipped with central plumbing, hot water heat, and combination gas and electrical fixtures. Governor Bryant B. Brooks and First Lady Mary Naomi Brooks opened the doors to the first guests in January of 1905, beginning a long tradition of entertaining and community service at the Mansion.
From 1905 to 1976, the mansion was the residence of 19 Wyoming first families. Governors, First Ladies, their children and pets lived and entertained in the home over the course of 71 years. From the first First Family to live in the house with their 5 children to the nation’s First Female Governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross, the home has been host to family dinners, neighborhood children, formal state events and dignitaries from around the country.
In October 1976, then Gov. Ed Herschler moved from what is now called the Historic Governors’ Mansion to the new Governor’s Residence located near Frontier Park. In July 1977, the mansion opened to the public as a historic house museum, embracing the lives and stories of the many people who visited and resided in the home. To the residents and visitors of Wyoming, the Historic Governors’ Mansion is truly the People’s House.
Enjoy self-guided tours enhanced with cell phone audio tours and electronic touch screen videos. To schedule a group tour or for more information, call 307-777-7878 or visit www.artsparkshistory.com .
No admission charge (donations accepted).
Winter Hours: October 1 – May 31, Wednesday-Saturday, 9am-5pm. Tuesdays by appointment.
Summer Hours: June 1 – September 30, Monday – Saturday, 9 am – 5pm. Sundays, 1pm – 5pm.